April’s Work Release

Okay folks, April is finished. It’s time to show our work.

Physical Wellness

The usual:  yoga, swimming, and hiking. I’m still unable to run on my knee, but that’s okay. I’ve crunched the numbers and I’m putting in more mileage than before the injury. Can you believe that? I was running less than I am walking now.  What a hoot. I’m wearing out my running shoes faster now than while I was running.

The bonus:  I found the Cheat Panties. Since I already dedicated two blog posts to them this month, I won’t take up any more bandwidth explaining them again. You can get caught up here and here if you didn’t catch panty fever the first time around. I will acknowledge, however, that the discovery and implementation of the Cheat Panties is a big reason I’m now getting in way more miles at walk/hike pace than I managed to log while running.

The unusual:  After a ten year hiatus The Chef has decided to pick up golf again. With new neighbors, friends, and clients also golfing it up in the periphery of our lives, it was suggested that I give it a try rather than being left out. So I did. Not that I minded being left out, but life after running is proving to make me more open-minded about my future sporting life. No one we know owns clubs short enough for me so I had to hack away at my first drives with tall people clubs. It was like swinging telephone poles, but the effort was sufficient to convince me. I’m in, pending the acquisition of short people clubs, which should feel more like swinging chopsticks. This ought to produce excellent material for body and blog alike.

Occupational/Financial Wellness

The usual:  the Spending Fast, rampant re-purposing of refuse, and living on leftover. How’s a girl supposed to pick up golf on a Spending Fast? Slowly and smartly. I’m scouring my realm for low-cost or no-cost hand-me-downs and pre-owned clubs and accessories. It’s a tall order (pun intended) since I need shorty-short-sized swings but there’s no rush. I joined a local Buy Nothing group in which I hope to trade, glean, or just relieve storage-stressed individuals of unused or unwanted equipment as well. Something will turn up. The Universe will provide. The old Me would have rushed right out and dropped $2000 on brand new everything. The update Me will be patient and watch $2000 worth come to me.

The unusual:  I continue to be resource for The Chef’s new business. I’m like an intern, only I get paid in savings. Last month I put my photography skills to work for him, saving us money on headshots for promo stuff. This month I put my technical design skills to work for him, saving us money on web-based applications and print projects. I also bake cookies and brownies for the open houses instead of hitting the bakery. I walk through the homes and tweak the variables to please a woman’s preferences. I fetch and carry and run errands. I help with set up, clean up, and lock up. I get dressed and coiffed to welcome his clients like a professional hostess. I’ve got the time and he doesn’t have to pay an assistant. When the commission comes in, we both feel like we earned it.

Spiritual Wellness

The usual:  Morning Prayers, meditation, the active study of spiritual wellness.

The unusual:  I started cooking again. How is this spiritual? You’d be surprised. It started out as most things do, with a practical purpose. The Chef’s work day is non-traditional. His busiest hours are late afternoon and early evening. It’s been nearly impossible for him to be available to his clients and still do 90% of the cooking at home, so I took over in the kitchen out of necessity. It made enough logistical sense that I truly did not mind. In fact, I volunteered. However, the idea of doing this was far different from the reality.

I’ve been spoiled for ten years by having someone else cook most of my meals for me. When it came time to roll up my sleeves and put on the apron I discovered I had very little patience for it. As much as my brain and heart wanted to do this for the team, it was a frustrating pain in my ass. I was out of practice, of course, and without putting any joy into it, it was awfully hard to get any joy out of it. This is where it became spiritual, because it had to become spiritual. I wasn’t going to succeed any other way.

I made an effort to align myself with the principle of sacred nourishment. All other wellness practices in my repertoire are dependent upon nourishment. I can’t function without it. Hell, I can’t even write is someone screws with my feeding schedule. The fuel and sustenance are as integral as every activity supported by them. It’s easy to take this for granted when you are always the Taker of the nourishment but rarely the Giver of nourishment. I volunteered to be the Giver. The Bringer. The Bearer. So my job isn’t to cook. Is is to give, bring, and bear. Providing the nourishment I previously only consumed doubled the benefits of the practice. And of course, this amplifies every other practice involved in the maintenance of wellness.

I used to be in the habit of calling my Sunday morning long runs my Running Church. In the evenings now I attend Kitchen Church. It is a sacred ritual now, rather than a chore. Time, effort, and attention are invested mindfully and cheerfully, making it filling and fulfilling.

Social Wellness/Relationships

The usual:  the morning walk. We will have to call this one the new usual. Back in the day we used to call walking for fitness-related purposes power walking. My new partner and I call it power talking while we walk. This is five weeks we’ve been meeting every weekday morning at 5:15 am to power an hour on foot. It’s just now starting to get easier. It’s always been worth it.

The unusual:  I attended my first real-live southern crawfish boil. It was fascinating, both the process and the people. I was the one leaning over the live crawfish tub asking questions before, during, and after the boiling. I met a tug boat captain, a Great Pyrenees puppy, horse people, chicken people, and a rugby player.

I attended my first college alumni reception with The Chef. I met a bunch of golfers, a bunch of deans and professors, and a fellow who knew lots of obscure, off-color, and funny stories about my brother-in-law. We ate dinners with the in-laws a few nights later. When the typical round of family teasing began, The Chef and I had leverage. And pictures.

I attended my first local pub tour with former running buddies. You saw the post about his earlier in the month. The idea is generally to run from pub to pub; a plan which I had to modify. A met amateur brewers, a couple of school teachers, a psychologist, and a retired fellow traveling around the country collecting local brew pub experiences and rating locally produced suds for a national audience. I guess you could say he was a very specialized travel blogger.

He happened to be touring Little Rock the night we were buying so much local. He was a hardcore hobbyist, y’all. Seriously, he had a laptop and notes and video equipment and a website and the whole shebang. When it was time for him to move on to the next locale he just called Uber. As you can imagine, he had a grab bag of interesting stories to tell, photos to show, and opinions to share. He was weird, wrinkled, and wiry. No one left his presence unamused.

Intellectual/Creative Wellness

The usual: blogging here about wellness, my weekly writing prompts answered with Peaco pics, a Feedly feed of bloggers who enlightenment me from week to week, the reading of historical fiction, the watching of documentaries.

The unusual: I’ve lived here in the Natural State for ten years and there is still a list of things I’ve always wanted to do/see/visit that I haven’t. In April I decided to start crossing items off the list that I could manage while still on a Spending Fast. When low-cost passes to a local museum were offered, I took them.

I have never walked into a museum of any kind without learning something or meeting someone interesting. It’s a specific kind of magic. Stand in front of an exhibit long enough and someone will talk to you about it; often to echo your thoughts or make a joke. In this case I made a comment and the lady next to me corrected me, kindly and with a bonus joke. We lapsed into and out of a progressive chat as we moved through the rooms of the museum.  She owns a golf shop. A quick exchange of business cards ensued and we now have a second set of eyes looking for second-hand golf clubs for Super Short Girls.

Yes, those capitals were deliberate. Shortness is a superpower. Although I cannot think of it as such without thinking about the episode of The Simpsons in which Bart and Lisa become Stretch Dude and Clobber Girl. Practice intellectual wellness and Google this sometime. For extra credit points, watch the entire episode.

On the way into the museum we stomped the nearby swamp and I was introduced to a native variety of turtle called Red-Eared Sliders. They are so named for the way they slide into the water after sunbathing but I naturally think of bite-sized turtle burgers. You know, sliders.


On the way out of the museum we ridged the nearby bridge, where I had a windblown Marilyn Monroe moment over the heating grate moment in front of the entire city. Not to worry though; I was wearing cheat panties.

So there you have it; the work of wellness — one month’s work. We practice on with the first week of May already underway. Life in Tornado Alley doesn’t always mean tornadoes. It also means flash floods and violent thunderstorms. The trusty techs have restored my services though, as they always do. It’s good to be back in cyberspace. Thanks for your patience.

— Mercy




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